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WHAT A RESPONSIBLE MOUNTAINEER IS NOT

Since my early years, I have been admiring people reaching major summits. I live in a province which is a home to 4 of the Top 10 highest ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WHY SAGADA KEEPS ME COMING BACK

SAGADA, Mountain Province is my favorite vacation destination. Since my first visit in 2011, I vowed to myself to visit the place every year. Sagada is truly worth coming back. No wonder foreigners and locals throng in this small adventure filled town everyday of the year.

Monday, November 10, 2014

TREKKING: WHAT DO I GET FROM IT?

Trekking is to journey on foot especially on mountainous areas.


People without passion in trekking, mountaineering or any outdoor activities will never appreciate my hobbies nor understand my point of view. When they ask me what I get from climbing mountains, I simply answer them "NOTHING" instead of wasting my time and their time explaining what I really feel. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

LAKE APO: A Quick Guide

   
Lake Apo in Sitio Lawa, Guinuyoran, Valencia City is a crater lake measuring 24 hectares with maximum depth of 26 meters. It is 11 km away from the Poblacion. Situated in 640 meters elevation, it is one of the cleanest lake in Region 10. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

LAKE SEBU: A Quick Guide to Solo Backpacking

  
LAKE SEBU is a lofty town of South Cotabato popular to tourists and vacationists. The town is a home to T'boli tribe and is famous for its T'nalak weaving. Lake Sebu got its name from a magnificent lake that scopes an area of 354 hectares. Other major lakes in the municipality are Lake Lahit and Lake Seloton. Lake Sebu is famous of its 7 Falls Zipline because of its breathtaking view. It is also famous for its unique arts and crafts. Different tilapia menus simply make every tourist drool. T'boli culture is still very intact. These and more contribute to the many reasons why Lake Sebu is hailed as the Summer Capital of Southern Mindanao.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

CINCHONA FALLS: A Five Series Wonderfalls


CINCHONA FALLS is a series of 5 (or more) waterfalls at the base of Mt. Kitanglad Range in Sitio Block II, Kaatuan, Lantapan, Bukidnon. The 5-series waterfalls is doable for a daytrek. The falls cascade close to one another. Trekking expertise is not strictly required on the first two tiers. The third is a little challenging since you have to boulder and cling to a vine to rappel down. The fourth  can be accessed through semi-expert rappelling or bouldering. The fifth tier, is tricky and simply dangerous, thus can be accessed through extra care and sufficient energy less the fear of height.

Friday, September 5, 2014

CUYO, PALAWAN: An Island Faraway

Cuyo Island, the largest among the islands of Cuyo Archipelago in Palawan covers the municipalities of Cuyo and Magsaysay. This silent island measures 57 square kilometers. Cuyo is said the be the home of a Spanish Fort with its high stone walls sheltering a church and a convent.

SUMAGUING CAVE: It's Features and Formations

 

Sumaguing Cave in Sagada, Mountain Province is always present in the spot list of every Sagada visitor. It is a spacious, wide area perfect for even a first timer's caving experience. Spelunking expertise is not strictly required here. Only time (2 hours) and a minimal cash (P500 for group of four) is required to explore this cave. It has numerous formations and markings that will amaze the tourists. The cave is also tagged as the "porn cave".

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

KAAMULAN FESTIVAL 2014: Celebrating Bukidnon's 100 Colorful Years

 

KAAMULAN comes form the word "amul amul" which means gathering of the 7 hill tribes of Bukidnon namely--- Bukidnon, Higaonon, Manobo, Matigsalug, Talaandig, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. In this festive celebration, the 7 tribes showcase their culture through dances and colorful costumes which proves the festival as the only authentic and genuine ethnic festival of the country.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE WINDMILLS OF BANGUI, ILOCOS NORTE


The Windmills of Bangui, Ilocos Norte were erected to support the Northwind Bangui Bay Project. There are 20 turbines all in all, lined along the 9km Bangui shoreline. The turbines, spaced 326 meters apart, are 70 meters high with blades 41 meters long. Each turbine can produce electricity up to 1.65 megawatts.

THE PINK SAND BEACH OF SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, ZAMBOANGA CITY

Santa Cruz island of Zamboanga City is known of its pink coralline sand. Santa Cruz, also known as Great Santa Cruz is a protected area along with the nearby Little Santa Cruz.

Friday, July 25, 2014

MY TEN LEARNING EXPERIENCES FROM SOLO TREKKING

Nearing the peak of Mt. Kanlaon

I usually travel solo. Admittedly, some trips I had were really frustrating. But I had to accept that not every venture ends in climax. Based on my experience, solo trip has both ups and downs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE SEVEN LAKES OF SAN PABLO

 
The Seven Lakes of San Pablo, Laguna catch most of the travelers' interest including mine. The fact that 7 lakes exist in one town is more than enough to stir one's curiosity. The 7 lakes have different unique forms. I can say they are distantly located from one another, but they can all be trekked in less than a day.

Friday, July 4, 2014

LEAVING SULU

Previously: Mauboh Beach

After my visit to Mauboh Beach, my driver-guard-guide drove me back to downtown Jolo. When we departed near the port, I took my time strolling at the public market interacting with the vendors acting like I know the place so well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

MAUBOH BEACH

Previously: Masjid Tulay

After spending a holy hour at Masjid Tulay, PO3 Serabani drove me along the outskirts of Jolo.     


MASJID TULAY: The First and Biggest Mosque in Jolo

Previously: Sulu Provincial Capitol

Masjid Tulay is said to be the oldest and biggest Islamic temple in Jolo. This mosque welcomes everyone who docks in the port of Jolo.  



After visiting the Provincial Capitol of Sulu, my guide PO3 Najar Serabani drove me to Masjid Tulay. He drove me along the busy streets of Jolo where I witnessed the usual streetlife of the Tausugs.

SULU PROVINCIAL CAPITOL: A Magnificent Islamic Architecture

Previoulsy: Meeting the Sultan of Sulu     

The Capitol Building of Sulu is a truly admirable Islamic architecture. It's prominent dome in a verdant landscape made me think of India's Taj Mahal. I could not almost believe there is such a wonderful structure in that part of the map.


After my escorted tour to Patikul, I was back to Jolo and endorsed back to the Provincial Police Office. We were approached by a fully armed police officer, rushing to leave with his team. He was so grateful to see me back safe. They were rushing to Brgy Liang, a place where we just passed by going back to Jolo where we saw a throng of marine officers. He said an encounter between the marines and the Abu Sayyaf members just took place. He then instructed me not to leave the office until my new escort arrives. 

MEETING THE SULTAN OF SULU

Previously: Quezon Beach

After basking in the awesome Quezon Beach, we headed to the house of the barangay captain of Igasan, Patikul for courtesy call. When we entered the door, my eyes were shocked by the view of a banquet attended by respectable people in their royal apparels, men and women celebrating the Feast of Ramadan. SPO1 Moridz greeted everyone with a kiss. What if I would do the same? I was so confused and reluctant, afraid I might offend all them. In traveling shorts, I opted to glue my feet on the doorstep and gave everyone a forced smile.

A SURPRISE PARTY!

Later, I was ordered to get inside another room and was introduced to Kapitan Faridz K. Bahjin. I was so behaved and soft spoken. The captain was so accommodating and was glad to accept me as a visitor.

Later, two lady servers came in with different foods, some I have never seen before.  An invited guest or a gatecrasher, I was so shy to be treated that well. My escorts came in and joined me in the table.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

QUEZON BEACH: A Jewel of Patikul, Sulu

Previously: ARRIVING IN SULU

At the Sulu Provincial Police Office, I waited for my then escorts to Patikul. At 10am, the long wait culminated. There arrived a police car labeled PATIKUL MUNICIPAL POLICE STATION.

So I would be escorted by no less than 4 police officers. The team leader SPO1 Maradjani Abdul Moridz stepped down with the three others. He directed to the office and talked in a high tempered voice I narrowly understood.

ARRIVING IN SULU

Previously: Sulu: The Most Feared Paradise

I woke up the next day seeing all the passengers getting ready to off board. It was nearly 6am. I was afraid and excited to see the port of Jolo and the view of the Islamic province. I was afraid more when I didn't know what to do then.


When I removed myself from the ship, I approached a marine navy at the port.

Sir, saan po ba dito ang police station? 
Sir, may I know where the police station is? 

Bakit? Taga-saan ka? Mag-isa ka lang?
Why? Where are you from? Are you alone?

SULU: The Most Feared Paradise in the Southwest

Dont be afraid of Sulu. Be afraid of terrorism which can happen in your own home, the metro or even the White House in Washington, D.C.


SULU, an autonomous province in southwest Philippines, garners extremely opposite impressions. While a few view the province as paradise, most see it as an Armageddon--- a battlefield. 

According to www.bbc.co.uk:

"The islands of Sulu, in the south-west Philippines look like the type of tropical paradise you would see on the front cover of a tourist brochure." 

"But appearances can be deceptive. This is a violent and unstable region - a breeding ground for international terrorism."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

RAFFLESIA: A Gigantic Pride Blooming in Bukidnon

Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae) is a parasitic plant that periodically blooms in some parts of Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, there are recorded sightings of this organism in the mountainous areas of Laguna, Compostela Valley and Bukidnon. Rafflesia blooms 3 to 5 days and gets decomposed. The flower is also called "flesh flower" and "corpse flower" since it smells like a rotting flesh. In Lantapan, Bukidnon, it is commonly called "busaw", a native word for monster or aswang.

Friday, May 16, 2014

MARAGUSAN: The Valley of Waterfalls and Springs



Maragusan, Compostela Valley settles amidst the grand mountains of Davao Region. This first class municipality is a home to tempting mountains, dozens of waterfalls and countless springs. This silent town, formerly San Mariano, has tons of tourist destinations to offer---manmade and natural. No wonder it is tagged as "THE SUMMER CAPITAL OF DAVAO REGION".

Monday, May 12, 2014

DON SALVADOR BENEDICTO: A PLACE YOU MIGHT HAVEN'T HEARD OF

"Never did I think that there exists a beautiful town like Don Salvador Benedicto in the sweet province of Negros Occidental."



Don Salvador Benedicto is a lofty town situated amidst the mountains of Negros Occidental. It is located between the cities of Bacolod and San Carlos. The silent town has a climate, terrain and winding highway system comparable to Tagaytay, Baguio and Bukidnon.

TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN LANUZA, SURIGAO DEL SUR


 Lanuza, a 4th class municipality of Surigao del Sur, is a small yet endearing coastal town of the province. Lanuza is almost a complete treat to a tourist who wants to experience everything (except for a filthy nightlife). It has clean beaches, shoreline fit for surfing, waterfalls, caves, name it...

Friday, April 11, 2014

OKLAHOMA ISLAND RAFI'S RESORT: A Scenic Getaway of Misamis Occidental


Oklahoma Island Rafi's Resort aka Oklahoma Beach is a hidden gem of Misamis Occidental. It is situated in Baliangao, the northernmost town of the province particularly in Sitio Cabgan, Brgy. Punta Miray. The resort occupies 4 of the few islets of the sitio. The 4 islets are interconnected with wooden footbridge, the longest is 30 meters. The resort can be reached through a boat provided by the management. The resort is a perfect place for swimming, sunset watching, picture taking, beach hiking and enjoying privacy.

I know you are interested to get the resort's contact number. So here it is--- MARK- 09152317772.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SUMALSAG CAVE: Spelunking and More

Sumalsag Cave is counted as one of the 5 recognized caves in Palaopao Range in the municipalities of Manolo Fortich and Sumilao in Bukidnon. Sumalsag Cave stretches to 1.04km long. Its usual caving route starts from Sitio Kilabong, Vista Villa, Sumilao and exits to Sitio Diamante, Dalirig, Manolo Fortich. 

I have heard Sumalsag Cave many times. Some say it's really beautiful. Some say it's truly adventurous. Some even say they have shed tears trekking in this cave. Challenging, indeed!

Friday, March 28, 2014

SUMMER DESTINATIONS: Trekero's Top Ten Recommendations

SUMMER's here again...

For sure, our feet are happier this time. Some are bound for beaches, adventure spots, lakes, caves, amusement parks, springs and some for mountains. Some even want to stay home with their family.
What's important is you know what you really prefer.

Enlisted are my top 10 Tourist Destinations. You may select one, a few or simply visit all them.

Top 10. DON SALVADOR BENEDICTO. The cool town of the Hacienderos.
For sure, only few have heard about this still town in Negros Occidental. An hour away from Bacolod, this Baguio-like town is good place to retreat, enjoy the sound of silence and explore the natural spots it offers.

a. The Serenity.

Friday, February 28, 2014

THE LADY WHO CAPTURED TREKERO


Many peaks he conquered  
Many lakes he swam 
Many waterfalls he trekked 
Many rivers and springs he plunged in 
Yet for only one his heart beats

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ALALUM FALLS: A BUKIDNON'S TOURIST SPOT ALONG THE HIGHWAY




Alalum Falls in Kisolon, Sumilao, Bukidnon graces the provincial highway with its glorious 45-meter high cascades. The falls is visible to travelers and passers by. This is situated near the Municipal Hall. The local government established a viewing deck where locals and visitors can see the entirety of the falls. In addition, concrete stairs lead the adventurers down to the base of the falls.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

OLD PULANGUI RIVER AND CRYSTAL SPRING: ANOTHER BUKIDNON'S WEEKEND GETAWAY


Old Pulangui River in North Poblacion, Maramag surely catches everyone's eyes whenever posted in the net. Yes, as it did mine. The simple post of a friend, Jeff, triggered my interest to visit the place. I inquired from him about it. Then I knew how to exploit the holiday courtesy of the Chinese.  

WHY OLD PULANGUI RIVER? IS THERE A NEW ONE?

Monday, January 20, 2014

LAKE NAPALIT and LAKE MATA



Top view of Lake Mata, Lake Napalit (far) and the tikog covered marsh in between


LAKE NAPALIT

Lake Napalit in Pigtauranan, Pangantucan, Bukidnon is a tectonic lake which has an area of around 36 hectares and an estimated depth of 80 feet. The lake is situated just outside the range of Mt. Kalatungan.

Friday, January 17, 2014

CEDAR: ANOTHER BUKIDNON'S WEEKEND GETAWAY

 


CEDAR, Center for Ecological Development and Recreation, in Impalutao, Impasugong, Bukidnon is another adventure spot in the province. It is situated just beside the highway. It is equipped with a very cool manmade swimming pool, sourcing from the natural springs surrounding the area. CEDAR is also a reforestation project site of the tribe-dominated town of Impasugong. It has a camping site, venue, basketball court and picnic amenities

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ASIK-ASIK FALLS: WONDERFUL SPRINKLE FROM THE WALL

Asik-asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato has never failed to amaze everyone since it was first discovered after the devastating blow of typhoon Sendong. It miraculously showers its alkaline waters from the concave walls of the hinterlands of Sitio Dulao in Barangay Dado. Its cascades stretch to around 100 meters wide on a mossy cliff.

Friday, January 3, 2014

TREKKING 2013: MY TOP 25 TREKS IN PHOTOS

My 2013 was not as well trekked as 2012. However, every trek I had was memorable though most were done in my homeland BUKIDNON. Many of my treks were new and still unknown to many. Here are the list of my top 25 trips for 2013.

1. TREKKING MT. DULANG-DULANG (January 2013)

This trek was truly frustrating. The trek was both started and ended under heavy downpour brought by an untimely storm in a dry season. I missed the magnificent view of the mountain's landscape. Dulang-dulang is the second highest peak of the country settles in Mt. Kitanglad Range in Bukidnon.